10:50am Monday 28th January 2013
By Melanie Adams
THEY have become some of the most iconic moments in our country’s modern history.
The success of British athletes during last summer’s Olympics will live in the memory for years to come.
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ first gold, Ben Ainslie’s fourth gold and Mo Farah’s double triumph sent pulses racing in August.
But not only did they have the country on the edge of their seats, they also had temperatures soaring in the bedrooms.
Passionate couples celebrating Team GB’s great successes are about to be responsible for a baby boom in Southampton.
Nine months on from the athletes’ golden moments, midwives at the city’s Princess Anne Maternity Unit are preparing for a couple of their busiest months in March and April.
Maria Dore, head of midwifery at the Princess Anne Hospital, said: “Obviously having a baby is not a scheduled event and we do have peak periods when we have a lot of women turn up unexpectedly but we have great contingency plans in place to support that.
“There has been a definite increase in the number of births in Southampton and the surrounding areas and we are preparing for another baby boom in March and April due to the Olympics last year.
“We have been really fortunate in Southampton because we have kept within our midwife to birth rate ratio and we are always monitoring the situation on whether or not we need to recruit more staff.”
Over the last decade the city has proven to be a baby boom hotspot with a 43 per cent increase in births since 2002 – one of the highest birth rates in the country.
Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that South-ampton witnessed the 43 per cent rise between 2002 and 2011, with Hampshire seeing a 36 per cent increase.
But while many maternity units across the UK have struggled under the strain of more and more deliveries, Southampton maternity bosses say that they have managed to maintain their high quality care thanks to the recruitment of additional midwives.
Despite reports nationally of many maternity units having to close their doors to expectant mothers as they struggle to cope with numbers, the Princess Anne has not had to turn anyone away in the last two-and-a-half years.
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